Theoretical constructions in criminology have had problems for quite some time. Some have argued that the reason has been a lack of testability in the theoretical statements (Gibbs, 1972), a lack of specificity (Gibbons, 1994), a paralysis (Wellford, 1989), or even a lack of imagination (Williams, 1984). In general, one could argue that most of the “new” concepts and ideas are contained in basic perspectives of the past. Certainly theorists have dealt with new variables, but these are usually novel measurement approaches to the same concepts. A close examination of the review in the previous chapter will lend credence to an “old becomes new” hypothesis. New perspectives have, indeed, appeared (labeling, radical theories, power-control theory), but it seems to me that after they show initial promise, mainstream criminology rejects them, or acknowledges and sets them aside, and returns to the same old approaches—with a traditional sociological focus on why people become criminal. Even within the traditional perspective, some new theories are accepted but most are not. If all acceptances and rejections were due to evidence, there would be no problem with this state of affairs. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case. There are other, equally viable, reasons for the rise and fall of theories, among them the form of background assumptions in theory, competition and levels of explanation, theoretical fashions and fads, emerging paradigms, reputation of theorists, and even perhaps the fact that when a quantitative “feeding frenzy” ends, a new approach is necessary to 56keep publication going. 1 This chapter will explore the most basic of these rationales for the popularity of theory.